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TYPO3 extension development book

8 Jan 2009

It's a good thing that there is finally a book about extension development for TYPO3. The newsgroups are always full of people asking how to do 'this' or 'that' when developing an extension. This book is an excellent starting point for an aspiring TYPO3 extension developer.

What I love about the book is that almost all aspects of extension development are covered. It is great that a book is now available that is an excellent starting point for extension developers.

Some aspects are explained in more detail than others. The part about fetching localized records mentions that you can override language strings using TypoScript, but does not explain how to do it. An aspiring extension developer will of course be able to look up such information inside the manual of other extensions or glean it from newsgroups, but it could also have been explained directly in a couple of extra lines.

I would have loved it if there would have been more direction in the book. It would have worked great if a 'single' extension would have been constructed together with the reader. Starting in the form of a 'hello world' extension and built up to a fully functional extension with back- and frontend modules. That would have given the reader more understanding of how to create an extension. Chapter 6 and 7 do explain how to develop a single extension with frontend and backend modules. And to be honest they do touch on most of the basic files in an extension.

It's just that the files are created with the kickstarter "shudder" ;-). The kickstarter indeed spits out some nasty code and should be fixed. Let's all make an effor to report it's shortcomings on the bugtracker to get them fixed. For the record; Plugins can be called anything besides tx_something_pi1 (which is not very descriptive), but the kickstarter spits it out in the pi1 way. Take a look at 'cal'. Maybe the kickstarter should be noted too, but in a chapter of it's own.

As noted in the preface, all the example code in the book can be downloaded for closer inspection.

The index is a bit thin. More words deserve to be in the index so a beginning extension developer can easily look up the meaning of a word.

It is of course impossible to put all the documentation about TYPO3 and developing extensions into a book of this size, so it is natural that not all the aspects are explained in greater detail. 

When reading this book, have the existing TYPO3 core documentation at hand (as is suggested in the Preface) to look up things that are not explained elaborate enough in the book. Also have a few extensions you like (frontend / backed) so you inspect their source code while reading the book. This will help to put the information from the book into a broader context.

I recommend this book for all aspiring extension developers.

Ingo 12 Jan 2009, 10:36
cough cough, kickstarter v0.4.0 is out ;)
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